Coronavirus death toll up by 15 to 59, with 561 new cases
Koca said on Twitter that 5,035 tests had been conducted in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of tests carried out in Turkey to more than 30,000.
Earlier on March 25, the minister told a news conference that at least 26 COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
"Turkey has 1,872 COVID-19 cases and 136 patients under intensive care," Koca said after a meeting of the country's science council. He added that 102 of patients were intubated and 26 have recovered.
Koca also said that within the 26 recovered patients, two are aged above 65.
"Both elder patients were successfully treated in intensive care units. One of the patients was 60 years old and the other 65," he added.
"The number of middle-aged patients is not small. The virus does not distinguish between the young, old and middle-aged," he said, urging all citizens to stay at home.
Koca said Turkey had imported medicine from China that he said was believed to help with the treatment of coronavirus patients, adding that the medication was already being administered to patients in intensive care.
“As of today, 136 patients in intensive care have received the medicine,” Koca said, adding that experts and officials would examine the medicine’s impact in the coming days.
He also stressed that Turkey was in a better position due to its timely response since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and has enough capacity to produce masks for both patients and health personnel in the country.
COVID-19 on digital platform
In order to inform the public with data on the outbreak, Koca announced that Turkey would create a digital platform.
He added that the application would be made available for the public to easily obtain reliable information about the coronavirus pandemic.
The total number of patients, tests, deaths, intensive care patients and recovered will be updated daily and shared with the public regularly, he added.
Schools extend closure
In the meantime, Education Minister Ziya Selçuk announced that it would extend the closure of schools in the country until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the same news conference as Koca, Selçuk said that education will continue via online and broadcast lectures.
He said that make-up classes will also be held.
Selçuk also said that high school and university entrance tests can be postponed in the future.
“We will enrich efforts and make sure to meet all needs,” Selçuk told reporters in Ankara.
“We can make up for the lost education, but we can’t make up for a disease. What is key is our students’ health.”